Blogging software that allows custom fields
August 9, 2004 8:58 AM   Subscribe

What good blogging software exists that allows me to create multiple custom entry fields? MT and Textpattern seem to suggest that future versions may have this feature, but is there anything that currently does this easily?
posted by Robot Johnny to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Leaving aside the question of "easily", here are possibilities: ExpressionEngine and EZPublish. Note that the former is not free while the latter has a steep learning curve (though in exchange for tremendous flexibility and power).
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:04 AM on August 9, 2004

pMachine Pro has up to three custom fields. pMachine free may also have them but I've never used it. And I believe Expression Engine has unlimited custom fields but again, I've never used it. (same link)
posted by dobbs at 10:05 AM on August 9, 2004

Wordpress has unlimited custom meta fields associated with each post.
posted by gramcracker at 10:09 AM on August 9, 2004

Oh heck, go with WordPress then. You can have it up and running in minutes.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:16 AM on August 9, 2004

I do this in Expression Engine and this feature is the main reason I chose it. WordPress was too simple for my needs, which involved integrating (what amounts to) two separate blogs into a seamless interface.

I have, at last count, 34 custom fields. Each piece of data, therefore, can easily be rearranged in a layout, and I can more easily come up with a variety of exports to SGML and XML data.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:29 AM on August 9, 2004

I only need (off the top of my head) 7 additional entry fields in addition to title, entry, and extended entry, none of which (hopefully) result in anything too complicated. Expression Engine's a little out of my price range (it's an entirely personal project), so I'll try out WordPress...

Mo, just as an aside -- I love your site, and have had it bookmarked for a while. You've just reminded me to add it to my blogroll.
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:45 AM on August 9, 2004

Technically speaking, it is possible to add fields to MT 2.x (I've done it), but it is unquestionably hackish.

I've also played around with Drupal. It's not blogware, it's an all-purpose CMS that can be used for blogging. There's a 3rd-party module for it called "flexinode" where you define custom node (read: entry) profiles, each with a certain configuration of fields. It's not possible to remove the "base" fields (title, body, summary), but you can add to those.
posted by adamrice at 11:11 AM on August 9, 2004

Thanks, Robot Johnny, for the compliment.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:24 PM on August 9, 2004

Mo, yes, very nice site.

I've got a question: did you go from pMachine Pro to EE? If so, what are the biggest drawbacks? It has some features I dig but loses some I like. Also, how solid has it been for you? Any crazy ass bugs?

I'd probably make the jump if I could test it but their security features suck (meaning I can't test it on my current host) and I'll be damned if I'll pay $10 to test their product on their own server. :)
posted by dobbs at 1:39 PM on August 9, 2004

I didn't upgrade my site from pMachine to EE, but I was using pMachine previously on the old World New York and another site.

For me, EE was mature enough and sufficiently advanced that I did not miss any of the features that pMachine had which had not yet (or would never) be added to EE. One that other people missed was the built-in forum module. However, the pMachine forum module still works and there are only a billion other free forum packages out there.

I know that EE 1.1 is in beta and the feature list is quite strong. Community support is excellent; there is almost never, ever a "look it up newb" attitude, which is nice, and the pMachine-related staff tend to give long answers and not let a problem thread drop until it is resolved.

Another reason why I was perfectly happy with EE is that I knew I would have to do a lot of hacking, anyway. I needed a package which would take me 90 percent of the way toward where I needed to be, and then let me add my own stuff. Since I'm more comfortable fusting with PHP than anything else, that left Moveable Type out. I have hacked it successfully, and because of the nature of the templates which are stored in the database, upgrades are still easy for me to do; I only had to make a single change in one of the core EE files. The main addition was, as mentioned above, the integration of two EE blogs in a kind of relational database, where a corresponding field in blog 1 is used to know which data to pull from blog 2 (that's how I get all those dated citations at the bottom of each dictionary entry: each of those citations is actually a discrete record, and each piece of the citation sits in its own field). I've done this in the templates. It would be much slower if it weren't for all the caching going on; I know because I used to use PHP-Nuke, which is still a huge, ugly, badly designed mess, which has a rendering time measure in epochs.

I don't understand why their security features would have any effect on your ability to test. There is also a live demo on the site which at least lets you play with the control panel options for free.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:35 AM on August 10, 2004

Mo, thanks for the thorough answer! I think I'll plop down the $10 and test it out.

They have a built in security thing so people can't just download a trial and keep it forever. They state on their site that in order to try the free trial, you have to have something called Zend Optimizer on your host, which I don't.

posted by dobbs at 9:19 AM on August 10, 2004

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